The vegetable garden at Burke Elementary in the Hickman Mills school district has continued to thrive over the last seven years thanks to the continued dedication of one teacher—Swapnam Kumar.
Swapnam is a teacher for 4th grade English language learners. She is passionate about gardening and has partnered with KCCG since 2009, when the students built their first vegetable garden. Students grow a variety of vegetables during the spring, summer and fall in six raised beds. Swapnam does a great job of helping the teachers incorporate the garden into the curriculum. She encourages students to bring their notebooks out to the garden so that they can take notes and monitor plant growth.
The schoolyard garden at Burke teaches students about the plant life cycle and helps introduce students to different vegetables. At the end of every season, the students harvest the garden veggies and the cafeteria staff wash and prepare the veggies for a school-wide salad bar!
Watch Swapnam’s slideshow below:
Next school year, Burke Elementary will be moving campuses. The students will be saying goodbye to their six raised beds in the courtyard, but will welcome a brand new garden at their new campus!